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Southwest faces Senate listening to subsequent week following vacation meltdown

John and Lori Ingoldsby, who drove to Denver after the primary leg of their flight on Southwest Airways was canceled, look ahead to a flight to complete their journey at Denver Worldwide Airport on December 28, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.

Michael Ciaglo | Getty Photographs

Southwest Airways‘ chief working officer, Andrew Watterson, will face questions from a Senate panel subsequent Thursday concerning the service’s vacation meltdown that stranded a whole bunch of hundreds of vacationers.

Southwest stated the listening to date overlapped with “a earlier dedication” for CEO Bob Jordan.

Jordan, who has been CEO for a 12 months, has vowed to win again vacationers’ belief after the debacle, which led to an $800 million-pretax hit final quarter and pushed it right into a loss.

Watterson plans to “use the chance to elucidate how we have taken actions to make issues proper for our Clients since Southwest’s late December disruption, in addition to what we’re doing to mitigate the danger of it occurring once more,” the airline stated in an announcement.

The incident has drawn elevated scrutiny from Washington and capped a 12 months of on-and-off disruptions in air journey, because of unhealthy climate, staffing and know-how points.

The service canceled greater than 16,700 flights between Dec. 21 and Dec. 31 as crew scheduling software program was unable to maintain up with quite a few flight modifications within the wake extreme winter climate.

The Senate Commerce Committee listening to may also embody testimony from Casey Murray, president of the Southwest pilots’ labor union; Sharon Pinkerton, senior vp of legislative and regulatory coverage at Airways for America, an trade group that represents the nation’s largest airways; Paul Hudson, president of client rights group Flyers’ Rights; and Clifford Winston, a senior fellow on the Brookings Establishment.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., the committee chair, had beforehand stated she deliberate to carry a listening to on flight disruptions following Southwest’s vacation journey chaos.

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